We investigated on the role of the genes encoding for the ATP-sensitive K(+)-channel (KATP) subunits (SUR1-2A/B, Kir6.2) in the atrophy induced "in vitro" by staurosporine (STS) in different skeletal muscle phenotypes of mouse. Patch-clamp and gene expression experiments showed that the expression/activity of the sarcolemma KATP channel subunits was higher in the fast-twitch than in the slow-twitch fibers. After 1 to 3h of incubation time, the STS (2.14×10(-6)M) treatment enhanced the expression/activity of the SUR2B, SUR1 and Kir6.2 subunit genes, but not SUR2A, in the slow-twitch muscle fibers, induced the caspase-3-9, Atrogin-1 and Murf-1 gene expression without affecting protein content. After 3 to 6h, the STS-related atrophy markedly down-regulated the SUR2B, SUR1 and Kir6.2 genes reducing the KATP currents and reduced the protein content/muscle weight ratio of the slow-twitch muscle by -36.4±6% (p<0.05). After 6 to 24h, no additional changes of the SUR1-2B and Kir6.2 gene expression and muscle protein were observed. In the fast-twitch muscles, STS mildly affected the atrophic genes and protein content, but potentiated the KATP currents down-regulating the Bnip-3 gene. Diazoxide (250-500×10(-6)M), a SUR1-2B/Kir6.2 channel opener, prevented the protein loss induced by STS in the slow-twitch muscle after 6h showing an EC50 of 1.35×10(-7)M and Emax of 75%, down-regulated the caspase-9 gene and enhanced the KATP currents. The enhanced expression/activity of the SUR2B, SUR1 and Kir6.2 genes are cytoprotective against STS-induced atrophy in the slow-twitch muscle; their reduced expression/activity is associated with proteolysis and atrophy in skeletal muscle.
Emerging evidences suggest that Ca(2+)activated-K(+)-(BK) channel is involved in the regulation of cell viability. The changes of the cell viability observed under hyperkalemia (15 mEq/L) or hypokalemia (0.55 mEq/L) conditions were investigated in HEK293 cells expressing the hslo subunit (hslo-HEK293) in the presence or absence of BK channel modulators. The BK channel openers(10(-11)-10(-3)M) were: acetazolamide(ACTZ), Dichlorphenamide(DCP), methazolamide(MTZ), bendroflumethiazide(BFT), ethoxzolamide(ETX), hydrochlorthiazide(HCT), quercetin(QUERC), resveratrol(RESV) and NS1619; and the BK channel blockers(2 x 10(-7)M-5 x 10(-3)M) were: tetraethylammonium(TEA), iberiotoxin(IbTx) and charybdotoxin(ChTX). Experiments on cell viability and channel currents were performed using cell counting kit-8 and patch-clamp techniques, respectively. Hslo whole-cell current was potentiated by BK channel openers with different potency and efficacy in hslo-HEK293. The efficacy ranking of the openers at -60 mV(Vm) was BFT> ACTZ >DCP ?RESV? ETX> NS1619> MTZ? QUERC; HCT was not effective. Cell viability after 24 h of incubation under hyperkalemia was enhanced by 82+6% and 33+7% in hslo-HEK293 cells and HEK293 cells, respectively. IbTx, ChTX and TEA enhanced cell viability in hslo-HEK293. BK openers prevented the enhancement of the cell viability induced by hyperkalemia or IbTx in hslo-HEK293 showing an efficacy which was comparable with that observed as BK openers. BK channel modulators failed to affect cell currents and viability under hyperkalemia conditions in the absence of hslo subunit. In contrast, under hypokalemia cell viability was reduced by -22+4% and -23+6% in hslo-HEK293 and HEK293 cells, respectively; the BK channel modulators failed to affect this parameter in these cells. In conclusion, BK channel regulates cell viability under hyperkalemia but not hypokalemia conditions. BFT and ACTZ were the most potent drugs either in activating the BK current and in preventing the cell proliferation induced by hyperkalemia. These findings may have relevance in disorders associated with abnormal K(+) ion homeostasis including periodic paralysis and myotonia.
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